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Friday, July 30, 2010

Thursday Night, "J Night, July 29, 2010

We hadn’t been to Joe’s Garage in awhile, and, since it’s “J Week” as we eat our way through the alphabet, we made the trip to Cow Corners. Joe’s is in the building that used to house the Greenery, on M-57 between Clio and Montrose.

We stood at the doorway for a few minutes, wondering if we were supposed to seat ourselves. Finally we caught the eye of a waitress who said we could sit anywhere. We chose a booth on the back wall. The walls are decorated with automobile signs and memorabilia, and the silverware is wrapped in red shop rags. There are several TV sets, and  there are video games in the bar area. They now have Wednesday cruise nights featuring music with a dj and live music on weekends. Joe’s is favoring the sports pub theme more than it was a couple years ago. Their website is However, the menu doesn’t seem to be up-to-date, although it is basically the same.

We took our time browsing the menu and finally made our decisions. Our side salads took a very long time, and we were afraid they were going to be brought with our meals. While we waited, the sound system played “Ice, Ice Baby” and other songs from that era. When our pleasant waitress brought the salads, she said the bread was still in the oven. Although the salads were iceberg lettuce, they were topped with bleu cheese crumbles and dried cranberries, as well as tomatoes and red onion. Very nice! The bread came as we were finishing our salads, but we were surprised with a choice of flavored butters.

Our entrees were a pleasing riot of colors. My lime chicken ($13.99 with two chicken breasts) was just OK. There was no noticeable lime flavor, and a wedge of lime on the side would have helped. The chicken was char-grilled and the edges were overly charred. I ordered homemade chips with mine, and they were good dipped in my leftover bleu cheese dressing. Both of our meals came with fresh mixed vegetables, tender crisp and flavorful. My husband’s apricot chipotle shrimp was a special ($12.99) and quite tasty. He ordered onion rings with it, and it came with pico di gallo.

I think next time I would order the cinnamon pork loin, which we’ve had in the past. The food is mostly good, with the exception of the above-noted flaws coming from the kitchen. Possibly they were just slow because of the special touches they were adding. Joe’s Garage is the kind of place to enjoy with a group of friends. The owners are definitely working hard to make it a fun place for all ages.

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